Daniel Ricciardo admits he is still surprised at the drive-through penalty he picked up during the Japanese Grand Prix, after missing out on the chance to make his alternative strategy pay dividends.

Ricciardo had started the race on the hard tyres, unlike the majority of the field, and was battling for position with Adrian Sutil when we he ran off track at 130R while trying to get ahead of the Force India man.

Having failed to give back position, Ricciardo was handed a penalty by stewards that ended his hopes of getting into the points and he admitted he was still puzzled by the decision.

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"I'm fairly sure without collecting a drive-through penalty I'd be leaving Suzuka with a good haul of points and feeling deeply satisfied with our weekend's work," he wrote in his Toro Rosso blog. "Instead I'm leaving... well, let's say unsatisfied.

"I was and am genuinely surprised that the stewards penalised me for the pass on Sutil. When my engineer told me I'd picked up a penalty, it never crossed my mind it was for that. Earlier in the race when I was out-of-sequence on the hard tyre I'd collected a big train of cars behind me so I thought perhaps I'd done something dirty then.

"I thought possibly I'd weaved when I was defending from H?lkenberg, or maybe cut him off without noticing. I didn't think I had but it's difficult to judge with the mirrors. When I heard what it was actually for... as I say, surprised.

"Passing Sutil around the outside at 130R was a brilliant sensation. Maybe that corner doesn't hold the terrors it once did but trust me, there was definitely clenching going on. In fact if the on-board footage emerges you'll see me having a little fist-pump as soon as I was through the chicane and in the clear. I was really jacked-up. It was cool. Shame I got clobbered for it."